Iranian Paralympic cyclist dies after suffering heart attack in road race crash
Simon Bruty for OIS (AFP)
An Iranian Paralympic cyclist suffered a heart attack and died after a crash in the men's C4/C5 road race in Rio.
Bahman Golbarnezhad, 48, from Shiraz was evacuated to a local hospital after receiving treatment at the scene of the crash, where died after suffering cardiac arrest, Iran's NPC later announced.
"The athlete received treatment at the scene and was in the process of being taken to the athlete hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest," International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence said.
"The ambulance then diverted to the nearby Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra where he passed away soon after arrival."
Golbarnezhad was Iran's only cyclist at the Paralympic Games, the BBC reports, and had placed 14th in the time-trial on Wednesday.
The cyclist, who wore a prosthesis on his left leg, took up the sport in 2002 and competed at the London 2012 Paralympics.
International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Carven said that "the Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio."
President of Rio 2016 Carlos Nuzman said that Golbarnezhad's death was "very sad news for sport and for the Paralympic movement."
"Our hearts and prayers are with Bahman’s family, his team-mates and all the people of Iran," he added.
The Iranian flag was lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village, while the Paralympic flag was to be at half mast during Sunday's sitting volleyball gold-medal match between Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A minute of silence will be held during Sunday's closing ceremony.
(Staff with agencies)
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